BHS takes second in mythical standings
League championships aren't a necessity to be highly competitive in the world of high school athletics.
The Baldwin High School 2007-08 school year is one primary example.
After all of the points were tallied and the championships won, BHS finished second in the unofficial All-Sports Frontier League standings.
"It was a good year," said Kit Harris, BHS wrestling coach. "We consistently have strong teams wide spread. We're still one of the smallest schools in the new league and might be the smallest. I think a lot of our kids have the mentality of trying to be good at things and working hard, which is good. I think it carries over from sport to sport. We have great coaches, programs and community support, too."
The Bulldogs accomplished that feat without winning a single league championship in any sport this year. However, they did finish runner-up in four sports.
The BHS wrestling, girls' track, girls' cross country and boys' cross country teams all placed second in the league this year. The softball, golf and boys' basketball teams finished third to help the Bulldogs in the standings.
"We're in a very competitive league," Activities Director Gary Stevanus said. "The overall standings show the hard work and dedication that our student-athletes and coaches put into our programs. The fact that we didn't win a league title in any sport but finished second overall shows how competitive we were in all of our athletic programs."
Gardner-Edgerton won the title with 58.5 points this year. The Trailblazers are the only one of the eight league schools that is a Class 5A school. The other seven are 4A schools.
Baldwin scored 55.5 to finish runner-up to the Trailblazers. Eudora placed third with 53 points. Paola was fourth (49.5) while Louisburg and Ottawa tied for fifth with 49 points. De Soto scored 47 to place seventh. Spring Hill came in last place with only 33.5 points this year.
"The 07-08 year in athletics was pretty good to us, and I feel we accomplished the most we could," BHS junior Connor Wright said. "I think leading the league, only behind a large 5A school, goes to show how our teams pride hard work and dedication. We did not win any league titles, but the league champions weren't in the top four in football nor were they cross country state champions and runner-ups like our Bulldogs."
The inability to win a league title this year shocked Harris, too. It was the first time in more than a decade that it's happened.
"Usually, we have a couple of cross country titles in there," Harris said. "For having a year without winning a league title, our teams are consistently good. I think we had a lot of second-place teams."
The football and soccer standings were not in the All-Sports standings this year. The football schedule was still based on the old 13-team Frontier League, but the new league schedule will start this fall. Soccer league standings were unavailable this year.
Despite the lack of a league title, Baldwin did have postseason success in several sports. Wright recalls a couple of those that kicked off the Bulldogs' success in the fall.
"I had two favorite sporting events of the year," Wright said. "Cross country state was great. It's nice to see the accolades that go with all the hard work, because it was something personal and proud to be a part of that tradition. It's great to see the people I spend hours at a time with finish the year so well.
"My equally favorite event was the football playoffs, partly because you know how much those seniors wanted that," he said. "It was exciting to see them dominate game in and game out, partly because I just get to sit back and cheer for them. It was great to see the team go the farthest it has in a long, long time."
The BHS journalism staff assisted in the gathering of information for the all-sports standings. The staff puts the standings together, which are not officially sponsored by the Frontier League.